Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb is the concluding book in The Liveship Traders series. I have absolutely loved this series and was excited to read the final installment and see what fate awaits some of my favorite characters in fantasy.
Ship of Destiny and all of Robin Hobb’s fantasy books are extremely detailed character driven books. The Liveship Traders series is a snapshot of a particular few years where our characters are having the turning point of their lives. This is what Hobb writes, the turning points in character’s lives, and focuses on that with amazing detail. Most of these character’s turning points are usually some form of disappointment, hurt, or bad circumstance that make their characters rise to the challenge, and grow. This series is not a light read and can be a little depressing at times. Read when you are up for it.
The main reason you should read Ship of Destiny is to find out what happens to these amazing characters. No other fantasy series has connected me to characters like Hobb did with this series. I know the characters better than most of my friends in real life. When bad things happened to characters that I love, I was scared, or angry. When good things happened to some of my favorite characters, finally, I rejoiced in their joy. I experienced so many emotions while reading this book because of my intense connection to these characters and that is why Robin Hobb is one of the best fantasy writers.
Even though I loved this series, I gave the previous two books a 5/5 rating, and would rate the entire series a 5, this individual book I would rate a 4. It could possible be me and my mindset while reading Ship of Destiny but the pacing was relatively slow compared to the other books. Malta’s storyline was great, but it was repetitive at times, and I didn’t care for Serilla’s point of view sections. Also, there is a scene of sexual violence that was too detailed for me, and made me uncomfortable. Even though Hobb focused on the ramifications of that sexual violence really well and focused on the victim more than other writers, the actual scene just wasn’t something I wanted to read. However, I am glad that it was treated as a horrible thing that happened to the victim instead of a plot device to show how awful the world or perpetrator is.
Overall I would recommend The Liveship Trader series and Ship of Destiny to anyone looking for some of the best fantasy characters ever written. Sure there are “cool” fantasy characters in other books but no fantasy character has ever felt more “alive” than the characters in The Liveship Trader series by Hobb.
4/5 19/25 Possible Score
Plot – 3(Fine)
Characters – 4(Strong)
World Building – 4(Strong)
Writing – 4(Strong)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 4(Strong)